This weekend marked the 17th annual Urbanworld Film Festival at New York’s AMC Loews 34th Street Theater. The HBO and BET sponsored festival attracted a bevy of stars who came out to support a range of independent short films, documentaries and narrative stories. Attendees included Paula Patton, Michael K. Williams, Derek Luke, Larenz Tate, Jill Scott, Jennifer Lewis and Cory Hardrict.
Festival goers were blown away by a slew of up-and-coming directors such as Solvan Naim, who directed the audience favorite, Full Circle, along with break-out performances by budding actors Michael Rios and Ron Caldwell in the short-films Fly on Out and The Painter, respectively.
Despite the majority of featured works consisting of first-time directors and actors, it was refreshing to see acclaimed thespians like Michael K. Williams, Larenz Tate and Jennifer Hudson star in such gritty indie films like They Die By Dawn, Gun Hill and The Inevitable Demise of Mister & Pete.
Below you can find the winners of this year’s Urbanworld Film Festival, along with GIANTlife’s festival favorites. A big congrats to everyone who participated!
Best Narrative Feature – Presented by Fox Audience Strategy – $5,000 Cash Prize
UW Pick: The Volunteer – directed by Vicky Wight
GL Pick: Full Circle – directed by Solvan Naim and Olli Koivula
Best Documentary Feature
UW Pick: The New Black – directed by Yoruba Richen
GL Pick: In Search of the Black Knight – directed by Tamarat Makonnen
Best Narrative Short – Presented by HBO – $5,000 Cash Prize
UW Pick: “Crescendo” – directed by Alonso Alvarez
GL Pick: Tie: Fly on Out | Ojala – directed by Robert Kolodny|Ryan Velasquez